Mayor-elect dismisses new lockdown in Rio: “extreme and unnecessary”

rio beach
Flamengo Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Tânia Rêgo/ABr

Elected with nearly two-thirds of valid votes in Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes said on Monday that his administration will not impose lockdown restrictions in the city. In an interview with cable news channel GloboNews, the mayor-elect called total isolation “extreme and unnecessary.”

On Friday, Curitiba became the first major Brazilian city to roll back its reopening process, reducing restaurants’ opening hours and limiting the number of customers stores can host at once. The state of São Paulo — Brazil’s wealthiest and most populous — is expected to reassess its own reopening plan this afternoon, and stricter measures may be enforced in the city of São Paulo. 

Mr. Paes, who served as mayor between 2009 and 2016, promises to announce which measures he will take to counter a second wave of coronavirus infections before he takes office on January 1, 2021.

Despite a hike in Covid-19 cases and deaths, citizens in Rio de Janeiro have long abandoned social isolation. With thermometers surpassing 35 degrees Celsius, the city’s beaches were crowded on Sunday, despite it being Election Day. Many beachgoers were not using face masks.

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